Saint Patrick’s Day in a Pinch: An Explanation of St. Paddy’s Day Traditions & Events

PHOTO: bing images

Wear something green on Saint Patrick’s Day so you wont get pinched by a leprechaun.

Around the globe party goers “go green” to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. Observance of the first feast day of St. Patrick was in America, not Ireland, with a parade in St. Augustine, Florida, in 1601. There are now over a hundred Saint Patrick’s Day Parades in the United States every year on March 17.
“On Saint Patrick’s Day, Everyone is Irish!” is a famous phrase. Celebrating the anniversary of this Patron Saint of Ireland, major cities dye their rivers green, and thousands drink gallons of green beer. “Pinch me, I’m Irish!” is a familiar t-shirt message. Being pinched for not wearing green on this holiday is common and usually well-received. Not complying with this colorful tradition could easily cause some problems. These days it is wise to ask before pinching someone’s skin between your fingers just because they aren’t clad in green. Besides adding a colorful twist to the festivities, it also adds a little bit of mischief. You can blame this one on the “leprechauns.”

Being green in the flesh, leprechauns like to pinch anyone not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day. Sporting a green shirt or maybe a green hat will make you invisible to the annoying, pinching leprechauns. Although this may be a bit’o blarney, by definition, a leprechaun is a “degenerate fairy” and is considered not wholly good, but not wholly evil either. There are apparently no lady leprechauns; these would be fairies. As a consequence, leprechauns are said to be loners with unsavory dispositions. Originally named “lubricin,” meaning “small-bodied fellow” in Gaelic, leprechauns could use their magical powers for good or evil. With their fabled pot-a-gold, trickery, and mischief, they are a popular character of Celtic Folklore.

In Ireland, Saint Patrick’s Day has mostly been a religious occasion. Up until the 1970’s Irish laws mandated that pubs be respectfully closed every March 17. A national campaign to display Ireland as a tourist destination began in 1995 to introduce Irish culture to the world. With that came the corned beef and cabbage, the Blarney Stone, and of course, the green shamrock symbol of good luck.
Kidnapped and brought to Ireland at the age of 16, Saint Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to the Island. Also, to his mythical credit, this patron Saint is supposedly responsible for eradicating snakes on the “Emerald Isle.”

Ireland has had a “Next year we’ll be back, bigger and better than ever!” attitude since Covid, as the pandemic only sparked their creativity. “St. Patrick’s Festival TV” launched on March 12, 2021, with a six-day lineup of artists, poets, comedians, singers, and musicians. The online festival was created to celebrate Ireland’s national day, with six days of performances broadcast throughout the globe. This is one you can blame on the Irish. Remember this old saying on Saint Patrick’s Day, “Erin go Braugh,” which means, “Ireland forever!” And don’t forget to wear something green to avoid getting pinched by a leprechaun.

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